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Aspects of comedy

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Kira Marwaha

on 26 January 2014

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Transcript of Aspects of comedy

Mistaken identity
The key aspect of comedy is Mistaken identity which relates to dramatic irony.

Most of the humor comes from the fact that both Algernon and Jack pretend to be Ernest- which is the only reason Cecily and Gwendolen will marry them as it is their 'ideals'. within a comedy (similarly to Twelfth Night).
Usually with in a comedy there is always a happy ending where everything is resolved , everything being the 'obstacle' and in this case the obstacle is the name. similarly to Twelfth Night, TIOBE, ends with the four main characters married.
Trivial nonsense
Algernon shows a range of comedic incidences. He talks about trivial nonsense, amongst other characters in the play. An example of this is when he and Lane are talking about the "science of life", Algernon asks "Have you got the cucumber sandwiches cut for Lady Bracknell?" He altered an intelligent conversation to something in complete contrast, something of no relevance.
The play is also a satire as it pokes fun of its characters most of whom are members of the aristocrat class.
Lady Bracknell
Wilde uses exaggeration or an elaborative manner of speech.
form of social commentary- shallowness of the upper class.
when Cecily and Gwendolen meet.
comedy of manners.
Wilde highlights how easy it is to turn on each other which is due to the mistaken identity- a very trivial matter.
The last way Wilde creates comedy is through his use of puns and double entendres. This can be demonstrated by
''I always told you, Gwendolen, my name was Ernest, didn’t I? Well, it is Ernest after all. I mean it naturally is Ernest. (III.170)''

This entire quote is a double entendre, especially the last sentence. Ernest (a fore named Jack), confesses to Gwendolen here that he did not know his name was Ernest until recently. The last part of the quote, “I mean it naturally is Ernest,” is both a pun and a double entendre for the word earnest, meaning that he had, in fact, been telling the truth the entire time.
The end :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) yay english prezi
Aspects of comedy
Dramatic irony
Jack Worthing is introduced to the other characters as Earnest, a name which everyone is fond of.
The comedic element is established through the irony of the fact that Gwendolen is distracted by the name Earnest, so much that she falls in love with him, whilst the audience knows that his real name is Jack.
Wilde’s witty sayings are often general reflections on life. An example is
"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his" (Act 1)
This can be seen as humorous as the audience can relate to the saying Wilde has created in addition to it being remembered easily.

Another example of Wilde's use of an epigram is
"Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?''
This statement is amusing because it showcases Algernon's unwarranted feeling of superiority. As one of the idle rich, criticizing the lower classes for not being useful is extremely hypocritical.

It makes use of irony, contrasting reality with Algy's opinion
Full transcript